You may have noticed the skid marks near the Port of Oakland, Lake Merritt, and even on the freeway, left by drivers that engage in stunt shows and street racing at high speeds. These speed events are not only illegal, but also disruptive and dangerous.
In January, CHP officers broke up a group of cars doing doughnuts in the middle of I-880. Officers caught and arrested at least one of the drivers for reckless driving. The next month, CHP officers chased and arrested three drivers in one morning for participating in sideshows and racing at speeds over 100 miles per hour. In May, officers broke up yet another sideshow at High Street and I-880. Residents told an ABC7 news reporter that the events happen at least twice a month.
One of the most recent and tragic episodes of street racing took place a little farther away in Cloverdale. A street-racing teenager hit a 16-year-old girl as she watched the spectacle. The girl fell off of a bridge and later died from her injuries.
With so many episodes of reckless driving, California freeways still seem like the Wild West. Street racing is on the rise in the East Bay, and officer shortage makes it tough to control.
Engaging in a speed contest is illegal under California law. Although street racing causes few fatalities, it obviously puts participants, spectators, and other motorists in danger. If you happen to come across an episode of drag racing or a sideshow, drive defensively and with an abundance of caution. If possible, take an alternative route to avoid the scene altogether.
If you happen to get involved in an accident caused by a sideshow or street racing, contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can make sure you get compensated for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses.
If you drive with a lead foot or feel the urge to literally burn rubber on our highways and byways, take your need for speed to a racetrack, where it’s legal to drive as fast as your hot rod will allow.
(photo courtesy of CBS)